Neuropsychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are major causes of morbidity throughout the world. Despite extensive searches, no single gene, RNA transcript, or protein has been found which can, on its own, account for these disorders. Recently, the availability of genomic tools such as cDNA microarrays, serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE) and large-scale sequencing of cDNA libraries has allowed researchers to assay biological samples for a large number of RNA transcripts. Similarly, proteomic tools allow for the quantitation of a large number of peptides and proteins. These methods include two-dimensional electrophoresis and surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization (SELDI). We have initiated experiments which apply these techniques to the comparison of RNAs and proteins expressed in clinical samples obtained from individuals with psychiatric diseases and controls. These methods have the potential to identify pathways that are involved in the pathogenesis of complex psychiatric disorders. The characterization of these pathways may allow for the development of new methods for the diagnosis and treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other human psychiatric diseases.
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